September 26, 2011

Chasing the White Rabbit

I associate the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland with time. It seems like you’ve done all your tasks, and almost caught up the time by its tail, but soon it turns out that this is only an illusion, and there are as many things to do ahead of you as there were before.

As I’m trying not to miss the opportunity to show you as many moments from our live in Toronto as I can, I’d like to share something that took place not last weekend, but the one before that.

It was the time when our community simultaneously held a Polish and a Ukrainian street festival. (On different streets, thankfully.)

These cultural festivals are very busy, noisy, and colorful. It’s particularly fun to watch the kids run wild. These are the people who experience joy and pain without any reservations. 

There is an annual parade at the Ukrainian cultural festival:

And now, let's make our way towards the Polish Festival:

Some people were making friends with the soldiers, while others were making friends with a bottle of beer:

All ages were eager to dance:

A few young ladies were lost in their imaginary worlds...

...while somebody else was really lost:

This shall be our next cultural destination:

I hope you will have a great week!


  1. Hello Olga:
    A spirit of Two Festivals captured here in these remarkable images. It is so heartening to see that cultural identity is still very much an important aspect of community life in Toronto and that there is joy in celebrating this cultural diversity. Amazing though how drink and dance do seem to be able to cross cultural divides and bring everyone together!!

  2. Lovely post, Olga. I enjoy going to the Ukraine and Poland thanks to you, today. Colorful post. Great street scenes. Everyone was having a wonderful time it seems (including the photographer!0 ;-) Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  3. That would have been such an interesting scene to watch. The photos are truly awesome. Toronto must be a cultural proud city.=)

  4. I love to watch ukrainian dancing and I love the costumes with all the ribbons.
    This looks like a great day!

  5. Wonderful post and what amazing costumes, they are so colourful. It is amazing how the cultures follow the people around the world. You obviously have some large foreign communities in Toronto. Diane

  6. Dear Olga
    That's really a lovely post. You have made very nice pictures.
    I wish you a happy week with a lot of sun.
    Greetings from Switzerland Yvonne

  7. Ole, ole and oléeee for that big party!!!.... We say here in Spain :)))
    People united in joy. Adults and children having a good time and enjoying life. The story is a marvel of color.
    Olga Thanks for sharing with us.
    A kiss.

  8. I'll try not to make any snap judgements about the two cultures, from your wonderful photos and coverage, but . . . the differences seem stark! It was probably best they were not on the same street.

    Love your pics and commentary. Great job, Olga.

  9. oh i know the white rabbit well...
    and these pictures are really awesome, that looks like a cool event, I'd go to that!

  10. Une fête où tout le monde y trouve son compte. N'est-ce pas ça le merveilleux? Trouver son bonheur!
    Très jolies photos, Olga.

  11. What colorful outfits, one could not help but want to dance if he or she were wearing something so fun.

  12. Wow, you captured some really great shots. I like the one of the guy with the black hat with the tattoos with his dog and girl.

  13. Nice pictures from a nice day...
    Enjoy !


  14. A really good day.........not easy to capture a carnival atmosphere with stills but you have managed.
    A really grand job.

  15. Nice pictures. It must be nice to belong to one of these communities, like having something on your own to celebrate, and have fun too, sort of like living in a small town, but still living in Toronto.

  16. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos. Toronto must be really awesome!

  17. Nice to see that such events are ! I should say that I prefer photos from Polish fest but I liked them both:)

  18. This is so nice!!! Guess what? When I was a child my very first costume, was like the Ikrainian one!! It was so nice, lots of vibrant colors!!! I like this kind of celebrations. Living far away from home is difficult and the feeling of belonging to a group secures many people!! Great pics:-)

  19. Hello Olga,
    I found this wonderful series of the festival of culture of Ukraine!
    What beautiful clothes, beautiful people and as always great photos.
    Congratulations and a big hug from all of the studio

  20. Some lovely costumes in the Ukranian festival, and high activity among the Poles. Each celebrating as they see fit in their own way.

    Your next point of call sounds fun too!

  21. I enjoyed people watching as well as the festivals. Festival is the one which celebrates our ethnic tradition. Ethnic costumes are so beautiful... like Japanese "kimono". Now I wonder what is Canadian's? Your photographs captured nicely what were happening. Children are so cute. Thank you for sharing.

  22. Wow, fantastic festivals! I've been to Zywiec! And Krakow -- so it was nice to see the beer logo and trumpeter.

  23. The Ukrainian clothing is so elaborate and colourful. It certainly brightened up this cloudy afternoon, Olga! My neighbourhood was initially a Polish and Ukrainian one, as the parish church a few blocks away will prove. I happen to be neither. :)

  24. Hi Jane and Lance Hattatt,
    Since almost everybody in Canada has some from somewhere else, cultural identity is really important for many people. I'm blessed to be able to spend time with friends from many different cultures, and that their community is open for me. I enjoy learning about different cultures.

    Hi Veronique,
    I was really having a good time. Obviously, I'm not part of these communities, but I'm glad they're open to curious visitors on these days.

    Hi Sandy,
    This is what I love most about Toronto - pretty much everyone is from someplace else, and it's typical to respect other cultures. Maybe it sounds naive, but this is what I notice in my daily life.

    Hi A Lady's Life,
    It was a great day; we were very lucky with the weather, and I was also surprised to find many Ukrainian schools (such as dancing schools).

    Hi Diane,
    I find many excellent opportunities through my friendships with families that belong to different communities. It's definitely a significant part of life in Toronto.

  25. Hi Yvonne,
    It's starting to rain more often, but the sun is still shining. I am very happy about that.

    Hi Laura.M,
    I always enjoy observing the kids at street festivals, because they're so unpredictable and have the most fun.

    Hi Rick,
    Everyone probably notices something of their own in these images. I can say that both festivals were truly joyful.

    Hi Krystal,
    Maybe we're just the type of people who always chase the white rabbit...others don't even notice him passing by.

    Hi Richard,
    Ces deux festivals sont une partie importante de la vie de Toronto. Pour y participer est vraiment beaucoup de plaisir.

  26. I love all regists. Beautiful people and nice expressions

  27. Hi Sergio,
    Thank you; it was a very enjoyable day :)

    Hi Ekaterina,
    I honestly don't know the symbolic meaning of the fox, but I also like him :)

    Hi lilylovekin,
    Both of these cultures have very upbeat traditional music, and you involuntarily start to dance when you hear it.

    Hi Randy,
    The street where the Polish festival takes place is very funky. You can find many interesting personalities there.

    Hi Pierre,
    Thank you. It wasn't difficult to take nice pictures at such fun events :)

  28. Hi Adrian,
    Fortunately, this time I had the opportunity to visit these festivals. I'm not always so lucky; sometimes I'm just too busy. Thank you very much for your comment.

    Hi Pet,
    We have these neighborhoods where you can find things from particular cultures...such as Little Italy, or a Portuguese neighborhood. One of my favourites is the street where my doctor's office is. It makes you feel as if you're actually in Italy. Everybody says hello to each other on the street.

    Hi Nas Dean,
    Toronto, like any multicultural and lively city, has many different qualities. Some of them are awesome, others not so much. Thank you for your visit.

    Hi Duncan,
    Believe me, in reality, both festivals had so much to give in terms of music, food, fun, and atmosphere. I guess you had to be there to hear that danceable Polish music :)

    Hi Ola,
    It's absolutely true - two festivals, even though they happen at the same time, draw large crowds as people circulate from one place to another.

  29. Hi Colores,
    To be honest, I sometimes complain - I feel like, in Europe, festivals of this kind take place much more often. When they happen here, it's a lot of fun :)

    Hi Antonio,
    Traditional costumes are a work of art. Too bad that these days they're not so popular that people could wear them in their daily life :)

    Hi Sarah,
    Yes, you're absolutely right. Each person finds something special for themselves at these festivals. Myself, I prefer to observe and take pictures. Sometimes I tap my foot to the music :)

    Hi Yoko,
    The majority of the people in Ontario is immigrants from Britain. So, there aren't really any traditional garments among non-Native Canadians. But there are definitely some typical activities, such as getting maple syrup :)

    Hi Talli,
    That day, beer flowed like a river at both festivals :)

    Hi Karen,
    I'm not Polish or Ukrainian either...I'm just Russian. To be honest, having lived in Canada for ten years, I have gotten a chance to learn about so many communities; I don't think I would have been able to do the same in Moscow.

    Hi Fabio,
    Thank you; I'm glad you enjoyed my photos :) Glad you can see we all enjoyed this day.

  30. Olga. This tradition of the carpets of sand. se hace en many parts of Spain. Also make them with salt and flowers. I'll try to get you something else. I sent an email.

  31. Hi Laura.M,
    Salt and flowers! You have got to be kidding. Wow!

  32. Wonderful photographs there dear Olga, such a great way to spend the day with two festivals. I love the colourful traditional costumes and I'm sure the music and dancing was lovely;it is so nice for these people to keep the traditions of their countries alive.

    xoxoxo ♡

  33. I always love how lush and vibrant your pictures are! You must have a great camera too. The details are always so sharp.

  34. Love those costumes! Oh gosh, I think I've been chasing the white rabbit for a while now! :)

  35. Hello, Olga.

    The folk costume is elegant.
    The traditional beauty seems to be expressed.


  36. I can definitely relate to the Alice in Wonderland experience. I love the vibrant colour and exquisite embroidery of the costumes. How glorious!!

  37. This festival looks like it was not only very beautiful, but a lot of fun as well. These photos truly capture the light-hearted atmosphere! I hope you put the camera down for a little bit to enjoy some ethnic food and go on a ride or two! ;)

  38. Olga thank you for these happiness photos of your Festival!!!So beautiful costumes!!! Vibrant colours! Happy children! Crazy dance! I'd like to be there!Perfect photos, congratulations!! kisses from Greece.

  39. I am late to the parade! Guess I have been busy chasing white rabbits :) What a lot of fun you had, I can imagine the food was wonderful. Is there a Russian festival in Toronto as well?

  40. Hi Dianne,
    The costumes really have a lot of symbolic elements, and the embroidery is beautiful. I always enjoy looking at them during the festivals.

    Hi Lydia,
    The camera is good, but I have to admit the lenses are too slow. Thank you for the compliment.

    Hi T. Becque,
    I think that those who are chasing the White Rabbit would like to get as much out of life as possible.

    Hi ruma,
    Thank you very much. I'm glad you enjoyed our festivals :)

    Hi Ingrid,
    I also love to look at national costumes. In particular, in textile museums of the countries that I visit. What a delight!

    Hi Jennifer Fabulous,
    I also try to visit as many festivals in Toronto as I can, although I don't always find the time to go. This year I missed the Greek festival :(

    Hi Φανή Παπαγεωργίου, Ζωγράφος,
    I'm glad you liked my report. As I've mentioned above, I have missed the Greek festival in Toronto this year, because of the weather :(

    Hi Dolly,
    I hope you catch up with the White Rabbit, and give him a squeeze :)

  41. Interesting and very beautiful event.
    Very nice people.
    Regards from a sunny Thessaloniki.

  42. Hi kostas,
    Thank you very much for your visit and nice words!